Disclaimer: I am NOT J.K. Rowling

Author's note: This takes place in the Marauders' third year and Regulus' second.


"I swear, if those two idiots don't stop fighting over me, I'm going to hex both of them into next week!" Lily Evans muttered as James Potter and Severus Snape were once again thrown out of the library for misconduct.

They were lucky they didn't get a detention. Honestly. Why on Earth would anyone think it was a good idea to pair them up for an astronomy project?

"You could just pick one of them," Regulus Black suggested without looking up from the book he was reading. "That would stop their fighting."

Lily glared across the table at him.

"Just because you're my partner for this stupid project doesn't mean you can meddle in my personal life," she snapped. "Remember what happened last time?"

Regulus grinned.

"Of course I do. It was one of our best pranks ever."

"You're such an idiot," Lily told him. "Just like your brother."

"It runs in the family," Regulus replied. "Now, are you done with that book? I want to check something."

Lily reluctantly passed over the volume she had been painstakingly taking notes on. Her eyes fell on his chaotic notebook. Annoyingly, despite his complete lack of organization, she knew that he would still get a higher grade than her on the final exam. Why did he have to be so darn good at this? It was so unfair.

"I just had a thought," Regulus remarked.

"Will it help me pass the astronomy exams?" Lily asked.

"It will get rid of your two stalkers for a decent amount of time," he replied.

"Tell me," she said. "I'm desperate enough to take advice from a Slytherin."

"An impossible task," Regulus suggested. "People do it all the time in fairytales. Just tell them you'll go to the Valentine's Ball with whichever one of them completes it first."

"In fairytales, those impossible tasks have a bad habit of turning out to be possible," Lily reminded him.

"Tell them they have to find three items that don't exist," Regulus offered.

"Like?"

"One of the Deathly Hallows, a dress woven of pure unicorn hair, and a werewolf," Regulus rattled off. "I have more ideas if you don't like those three."

"What are the Deathly Hallows?" Lily wondered. "And why don't the other two exist?"

"The Deathly Hallows are three rumored artifacts given to three brothers by Death himself," Regulus explained. "A dress woven from pure unicorn hair would be almost impossible, because unicorn hair is incredibly rare. And werewolves certainly exist, but do you honestly think either of your stalkers could smuggle one into Hogwarts?"

"I wouldn't put it past them to try," Lily muttered.

"If they get caught and put in detention, is that really a bad thing?" Regulus asked.

"You have a point," Lily agreed. "I'll try it."

XXXXX

On the seventh of February, Lily Evans stood up in front of the entire school at breakfast.

"Everyone, listen up," she began. "I would like to announce a contest. I have decided that I, Lily Evans, will go to the Valentine's Ball with whichever boy can bring me all of the following three items: a dress made of pure unicorn hair, a werewolf, and any one of the three Deathly Hallows. You have until the thirteenth of this month. Anyone who attempts to ask me out or loudly declares his love to me- that includes you, James Potter- will be disqualified. Thank you."

A murmur of surprise ran through the hall. James gasped with delight as Lily announced her conditions.

"Finally! I finally have a chance to go to the ball with my darling Lily!"

"You do realize she's basically saying she's not going with anyone," Remus pointed out. "She's just trying to get you out of her hair."

"Her precious, flaming red hair," James sighed.

"Are you even listening?" Remus asked. "Where are you going to find one of the Deathly Hallows? Or a dress of pure unicorn hair? Have you considered that? It's just luck that one of the items is a werewolf, but you need all three."

"I have two," James pointed out.

"Two?"

"Silly little Remus," Sirius said. "Have you never realized that James' invisibility cloak is one of the Hallows?"

Remus almost managed to hide his shock.

"That still leaves the unicorn hair dress," he pointed out.

"That won't be a problem," Sirius assured him. "Ah, here he comes now."

Regulus stopped by the table and handed James a small package wrapped in brown paper. It was impossibly light.

"Is this…?"

Regulus merely grinned and walked off. James carefully tore a corner off the package. There was no doubt about what was inside.

"Sirius? Do you know where this came from?" he asked.

"It was my great-aunt's wedding dress," Sirius explained. "She worked on a unicorn reservation and when she got married all the unicorns pitched in a bit of hair to make her dress. Somehow, my mom got a hold of it. Me and Reg found it in the attic a few years ago."

"I'm guessing it's not a coincidence that the three items Lily named are now in James' possession?" Remus remarked.

"Regulus only offered suggestions," Sirius insisted. "It's not our fault she took them."

"What if someone else somehow has these three items!" James suddenly realized. "I'd better run back to the dorm right now and get the cloak!"

XXXXX

Lily was racing down the hall, desperate not to be too late for potions, when she heard her name called. She sighed and turned towards the sound of James' voice. The idiot and his three friends were running towards her down the empty hall.

"What is it, Potter?" she asked. "I told you: any declarations of love and you're disqualified."

"What if I have the items?" James asked.

"You couldn't possibly have the items. That would be…"

Lily trailed off. She really didn't like that smirk on his stupid face.

"Impossible?" he finished.

"Where on earth did you get a werewolf?" she finally asked.

"I just so happen to be best friends with one," he told her. "His name's Remus Lupin."

Lily looked at James' quiet, intelligent friend. A werewolf? Oddly enough, it almost made sense.

"You can ask Dumbledore if you don't believe it," Remus offered.

She could tell he meant it. He really was a werewolf then. Well. That was unexpected.

"Show me the rest of the stuff," she requested with a sigh.

From a package barely larger than a nutshell, James drew out a shining, perfect gown of purest white. Lily couldn't help but gasp at its beauty.

"Where did you get that?" she asked.

"It belonged to Sirius' great-aunt," James admitted. "But it's yours now. I think it would look gorgeous on you."

He reverently handed it to her. The fabric was cool to the touch and far softer than silk.

"You're giving this to me?" she asked. "To keep?"

"It was just hanging around in our attic," Sirius told her. "I think Great-Aunt Morgan would have wanted someone like you to wear it. And it's not like anyone in my family will wear it. It's far too plain for Bella and Cissy's tastes."

"What about one of the Hallows?" Lily asked.

He couldn't really have one of those, could he?

James drew a wad of fabric from his bag.

"It's the cloak of invisibility," he explained. "It's been in my family for ages. Sorry, but you can't keep this one. My dad would kill me if I didn't bring it back. So, that's it, right? I won!"

"Technically, it was a joint effort between you, Remus, and Sirius," Lily reminded him. "Which means I get to choose between the three of you."

James sent piercing glares at his friends. Sirius frantically started making up an excuse.

This should be good, Lily thought.

"I can't go with you!" Sirius insisted. "I'm going with someone else!"

"Who?" Lily asked.

"Um…"

Sirius searched the hall desperately for some girl to recruit. Unfortunately for him, the hall was completely deserted.

"I'm going with Remus!" Sirius announced.

"Since when?" Lily asked suspiciously.

"Since about five seconds ago," Remus told her. "When we suddenly realized our undying love for each other, which will be quickly forgotten as soon as the ball is over."

"I see," Lily muttered.

It might almost be worth going with James just to see them embarrass themselves. Almost, but not quite. Besides, she'd just had an idea.

"Then I'll go with Regulus," she decided. "He helped get the dress, right?"

"He's going with a girl from his year," Sirius told her. "Look, if you go, um,… Remus will wear a dress to the ball!"

"I will not!" Remus insisted.

"Of course he will," James countered.

Now that was a very tempting offer.

"Sirius wears the dress and it's a deal," she decided.

"Deal!" James agreed, slapping a hand over Sirius' mouth to forestall any protest.

XXXXX

A week later, the Valentine's Ball was held at Hogwarts. Lily and James, naturally, arrived right on time. A bit early even. Lily looked a bit annoyed, but she seemed to be tolerating James for the moment. Regulus couldn't stop a smirk from spreading across his face.

"What is it?" his Ravenclaw date, Marta Greengrass, asked. "Why are you smiling?"

"Just seeing a plan working out perfectly," he told her.

"You Slytherins and your plots," she teased. "By the way, I haven't seen your brother. I would've expected him to be here already, showing off his latest girlfriend."

"Yeah, me too," Regulus agreed. "He's probably just trying to arrive 'fashionably' late."

"Probably. Oh! That's interesting. I didn't know Remus had a girlfriend," Marta added. "I don't think I've ever seen her before."

"Marta, your social life is rather lacking," Regulus pointed out.

But he followed her gaze to his brother's best friend. As soon as he saw the girl with Remus, he nearly dropped the glass of punch he was holding. He quickly handed it off to Marta.

"Excuse me," he said. "I need to go talk to someone."

"I'll be here," Marta replied, taking a seat on one of the chairs lining the wall.

Regulus strode across the room, making a beeline for Remus Lupin. Composing himself, he tapped Lupin's date on the shoulder.

"May I have a dance?" he asked.

Lupin's date backed up slightly.

"Um, sorry, I can't do that. I promised to only dance with my dear Remus."

Regulus only barely kept his laughter in check.

"You're not saving even one dance for your little brother?" Regulus teased.

Sirius glared at him.

"Not so loud," he hissed. "I'd like to survive this night with the least amount of embarrassment possible. Anyway, it's really your fault."

"Don't blame me for Lily's vindictiveness," Regulus responded. "I should probably thank her for supplying me such wonderful blackmail material."

"I hate you," Sirius said.

"I know," Regulus replied. "So, what should our next prank be?"

"Something involving explosions…"


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